Everyday Wisdom – Mounting Block Mishaps
Jul20

Everyday Wisdom – Mounting Block Mishaps

By subscriber Vanessa Larocque and Alice Champlin                         Vanessa leads Hadley properly. They two are in step. His head is in a natural head set, no stress here, and parallel to her shoulder. Vanessa is “in charge.” If Hadley is lazy and not moving forward, Vanessa taps him gently on the flank with her dressage crop (in her right hand) telling him to pick up the pace. The more you practice leading horses properly the easier it gets and the more you are in control of the situation. Vanessa prefers to use a rope halter for the “teachable” moments in horsemanship. The rope halter gives her leverage; when Vanessa applies pressure Hadley feels tension over the poll and near the nose bridge and across the face. The rope halter is a tool that is to be taken seriously as it can also hurt a horse if used improperly. In other words, “DON’T YANK THE HORSE” especially when they are in a rope halter. Vanessa knows whenever teaching a horse something new, you allow time. She intentionally  set aside at least an hour today to work on leading skills before she tackles the mounting block.   Vanessa deliberately leads Hadley improperly to demonstrate how easily people get hurt because they are leading a horse wrong. If he lunges forward, he will knock her down. If he pulls back, he’ll wrench her arm or shoulder.                                             After showing Hadley the mounting block, Vanessa squares him up with the with it then stands on it. She wants to get him accustomed to her being there. She rubs his back and verbally tells Hadley to “stand.”  This becomes an daily ritual as she reminds Hadley consistently what her expectations are. Hadley learns through repetition, he is to stand quietly when it comes to the mounting block.  ...

Read More
EQUINE BENEFITS – Come Celebrate THE DAY OF THE HORSE
May18

EQUINE BENEFITS – Come Celebrate THE DAY OF THE HORSE

  Day of the Horse Don’t miss this great tradition celebrating the history and culture of our vibrant equestrian community in the Conejo Valley. Day of the Horse is an annual event that is open to the public that is full of fun activities aimed to educate and spread knowledge about horses. This event celebrates fun, food and entertainment on our beautiful 30-acre equestrian park.  Our goal is to host a family oriented event that brings our residents and businesses together for an enjoyable day!   We welcome vendors! To reserve booth space, please complete our registration form www.eticorral37.org/events You may visit our website for event updates at www.eticorral37.org or Email at eticorral37@yahoo.com   Event Date: Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm ·      Horse Demonstrations ·      Kids Corner ·      Shave-It Truck Exhibitors: ·      Foxfield Drill Team ·      Valley View Vaulters ·      Chemaine Hurtado, Symphony Dressage Vendors: ·      Animal Guardians Horse Rescue ·      Bright Star Saddlery ·      Greater LA Paint Horse Club ·      DAC Horse Vitamins & Supplements ·      Two Bit Woodworks ·      Created by Ken ·      Wrapped N Ribbons   Conejo Creek Equestrian Park 1350 E Avenida De Las Flores, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 www.eticorral37.org...

Read More
Everyday Wisdom – Don’t Toss Those Blankets! Repair them!
May01

Everyday Wisdom – Don’t Toss Those Blankets! Repair them!

After the winter season, is a great time to purchase new blankets because a lot of them are on sale at this time of year. But before you open your wallet, take a look at your existing inventory and see if some of those blankets can be refurbished and repaired. A good blanket is hard to find especially when it comes to fit and fill content.  These paisley blankets have a light insulation perfect for the Southern California climate and I like the fit. When Hadley ripped the lining of his blue one, replacing it was gonna to be tough and expensive. So instead I headed to my local dry cleaners and laundry service. “Marine’s Cleaners” on Topanga Canyon Blvd not only laundered the blanket but repaired the lining for under $50. Not bad compared to the cost of a new blanket especially since the blue one is longer available. For other blankets that needed buckle and strapping repair, I headed to the local cobbler or shoe repair. Conveniently located right next to the dry cleaners!  To my surprise, I found that two area “A” lister hunter/jumper barns had already enlisted Mike’s help in blanket repair.  Mike also repairs boots, bridles,  halters and does some minor work on saddles. A word to the wise – Before you head to the cobbler or the dry cleaners launder the blankets at home or at a laundromat. Nobody wants a smelly blanket in their shop so take pity on the shop owner. I prefer the laundromat but I am careful to check with the owner to make sure I can use their large machines. I frequently hose the blankets off and let them air dry before taking them to the laundromat. This eliminates a lot of dirt, hair and shavings that might clog a washing machine. Happy horsing!...

Read More
Officer Johnson and the “Black and Whites”
Apr12

Officer Johnson and the “Black and Whites”

Officer Kyle Johnson poses with his “Black and White” and our “Black and White,” beautiful Daphne. We wanted to show the bond between the police and equestrian communities and how much we appreciate their service. Many a time my friends and I, while horseback riding, have had our run-ins with the law here in Southern California. Police vehicles are often parked along Mulholland Hwy in Calabasas, or at a stop sign on Round Meadow in Hidden Hills, or the trailhead at Chesebro in Agoura. As we ride by, we can’t help but kindly joke with the officers: “I promise officer, I won’t speed.” “Look officer, no hands.” “Oh, oh you caught me texting while I ride.” Or my personal favorite: “I like my ‘Black and White’ better than yours.” We are friendly to express our appreciation for all the help police officers provide. Often police officers have helped a group of riders cross dangerous highways only to return hours later and repeat the same action, insuring our safety on the way home. Because of police presence, motorists, motorcyclists and bicyclists tend to behave better when the officers are minding the roads. Insuring safety for everyone.  Again, we thank them for their service.  This article was written in remembrance of Sgt. Steve Owen who was killed October 5th, 2016 in pursuit of a parolee suspected of burglary.  Sgt. Owen was a 29-year veteran of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s dept. He was extremely well liked within his community, and in civilian life as well. He was known for being a great husband, father and also an excellent horseman. Sgt. Owen was also part of the Mounted Patrol Unit and a great example of how police and horses work as team operating not only as protectors, but amabssadors of goodwill in communities across the country. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell noted Sgt. Owen’s help in preparing to ride horseback in the Pasadena Parade. “I had never done that before, and he was somebody who was a real horseman … truly a gentleman, somebody who wanted to be … helpful in whatever … he did. Everybody looked to Steve as the go-to guy, and within the organization he was looked to as a role model for everybody else,” Sheriff McDonnell said in an interview with KTLA. On the day Sgt. Owen was laid to rest,  “The procession of vehicles was so long that the last vehicle departed about 30 minutes after the group at the head of the line, “ according to NBC Los Angeles. Thank you for your service and goodwill Sgt. Owen. You will not be forgotten....

Read More
THE GOOD HORSE – “Flash” April Horse of the Month
Apr12

THE GOOD HORSE – “Flash” April Horse of the Month

Super “Flash” is our Horse of the Month for April. This 17-year-old Paint gelding is sensational on the trails. “He’s as bomb proof as it gets,” claims owner Lonna Weber.  For submitting Flash, Lonna has won a gift certificate from West Valley Horse Center of Agoura Hills, California. No doubt she’ll put her prize to good use as  Flash has plenty of “Barn Buddies”.     Lonna keeps a beautiful barn and her animals are so content. Some of Flash’s pack includes: Milly the Goat, Daisy the Duck, “who thinks she’s a dog” and famous Spanky the Donkey. These are just some members of the animal family at Lonna’s Barn. I thought for sure Daisy the Duck would peck me when she approached, but instead she lowered her head to receive pats on the back.                     ...

Read More